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#231631 - 09/07/11 07:42 PM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Arney]
speedemon Offline

Registered: 04/13/10
Posts: 98
Originally Posted By: Arney
Well, if you're "big" because you're fat, then that's likely an advantage when food is scarce, unless that makes you an easier meal for something even bigger! smile

That's always been my excuse why I haven't gotten around to losing those ~20 lbs of fat sticking to my gut.

I call it the "Survival 6-pack". Silly people with great muscle definition and 2% body fat won't last a couple weeks without food. grin (I have been working out the last few months though)

In all seriousness though, I would tend to think that someone in good shape, without being a marathon runner would be in the best shape for a survival situation. No body fat becomes a liability as your body starts cannibalizing your muscle. Course being a fat out of shape lump could increase the chance of injury, or lessen the likelihood of you being able to evacuate yourself if need be. If it wasn't obvious, Im coming at this from a wilderness survival type situation, although I suppose it could apply to most situations.

Edited by speedemon (09/07/11 07:47 PM)

#231632 - 09/07/11 07:50 PM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Chisel]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1467
Loc: North Carolina
Look at people who are in survival type situations for long periods, and how their bodies adapt. Indigenous peoples are good examples, but also look at soldiers who did recon for extended periods in Vietnam. None of them were very muscular, they thin and wiry, fit and strong but not big. The body adapts to the environment to be most efficient and effective. That will show you what body type would be best for survival in any type of environment.

#231633 - 09/07/11 07:52 PM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: hikermor]
paramedicpete Offline

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Well said and has been my experience in rescue.


#231634 - 09/07/11 07:57 PM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Chisel]
GarlyDog Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
Healthy and physically fit.

#231635 - 09/07/11 08:01 PM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Chisel]
Glock-A-Roo Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 1076
For the moment let's discount mental attitude, mindset, etc. Everyone can point to cases of underdogs who pulled through due to true grit. Let's also discount specializing for wildly disparate environments, like 'arctic vs. desert'. We all know the difference between an Eskimo and a Masai but you can only pick 1 body type (Helen Parr excluded).

I have a friend who was an Army Ranger, then later was a Special Forces officer. These soldiers are subjected to extreme physical hardship in a wide variety of environments. During those times they are expected to do tons of physical work on minimal rations and minimal sleep. I asked him how the big guys did compared to the smaller, more wiry ones.

He said that overall the smaller (or at least average) guys held up better. The big guys had to lug their bulky weight everywhere and required lots of calories to get along. When the rations were restricted, the big guys had a harder time.

It is key to note the restricted rations and sleep. Everyone's a stud when they're well fed and rested.

A 175 pound man can develop a lot of a 250 pound man's functional strength but the performance improvements from the savings in body weight and bulk are enormous. 75 pounds of body mass is a huge albatross that drags you down 24 hours a day.

I would take a 175 pound dude who can run a 7 minute mile and bench press 150% of his weight over a 250 pound guy with the same stats, because the lighter guy will be able to do the work on less food. The heavier guy can exert more absolute force in a one-time lift, but I think that capability is less useful than ongoing functional endurance.

#231643 - 09/07/11 09:17 PM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Glock-A-Roo]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6788
Loc: southern Cal
Note that really good marathoner runners tend to be on the small side and not massive.
Geezer in Chief

#231655 - 09/08/11 12:52 AM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Chisel]
ireckon Offline

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Originally Posted By: Chisel
Do you think that a huge body or a little body is better for survival ?
Which one do you prefer ? and why ?

Mostly, I think it's the luck of the draw, just like the best soldiers don't necessarily survive war.

If I had to answer, I'd guess the following in order of importance:

-mental toughness
-pulling strength
-pushing strength
-overall power
-overall speed

I've seen seemingly overweight guys running marathons in decent times. Those same guys didn't seem to have the body type to be healthy at a lower weight. To some extent, you can't judge someone based on looks.
If you're reading this, it's too late.

#231660 - 09/08/11 02:09 AM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Chisel]
Diosces Offline

Registered: 09/03/10
Posts: 26
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with the 'average' response.

Natural selection proves the average are best equipped to deal with millenia of challenging times.

#231662 - 09/08/11 02:38 AM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Diosces]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Where there's a will,there's a way!Mother nature doesn't give a hoot what you look like,so make the best of it with what you got!If you can't get out of it,Get into it!Adapt,Overcome!Stay Positive,Always!

#231663 - 09/08/11 02:57 AM Re: Survival of the biggest / smallest [Re: Chisel]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
An active brain with knowledge and common sense in it might well offset the ideal size.

"Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill." And probably a strong body, too.

And don't discount plain old LUCK... the main reason why so many dumb people are still alive.


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